Author Topic: Harvesting  (Read 11596 times)

vickyinottawa

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Harvesting
« on: August 30, 2006, 04:21:18 PM »
How is everyone doing with their gardens?

We experimented with a few veggies in the front yard this year.... I had a hard time keeping up with the weeding so they're pretty much "free range" veggies.  Tomatoes went NUTS - we've already given away a bunch and made some stewed tomatoes to freeze.  We also planted what we thought were pumpkings - but turned out to be yellow zucchini.  There haven't been a ton, but they have been very tasty!

On the not-so-successful side, the cukes we hoped would grow up the front step railing didn't really take off.  We've had a few, and they've been good, but now the critters have found them and are plucking the new cukes before they can ripen.  

We also planted broccoli - but it doesn't look promising right now. One of the three plants has a small floret, so we'll see.....

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 04:43:54 PM »
On a lark, I picked up a couple of little tomato plants earlier this summer, and like yours, mine are going mad.  For whatever reason (mostly, I think, because I didn't expect much success anyway) I planted Goldens (the slightly lower acid yellow tomatoes) and I think we've eaten about 6, I brought 10 in to work today to give away, and there's probably about a dozen more that are ripe on the vine.  I also planted some cherry (or so I thought; haven't seen a one yet) and some beefsteak (I've got about 6, all of them medium sized).

I planted some hot peppers, but within a week some bugs had denuded the leaves, which now look like a swiss-cheese plant.  The poor little guys lacked the strength to die, and I think they're still making a brave go of it.

One evening, while eating some watermelon out back, I popped a few of the seeds in the dirt, and now I have about 4 watermelon plants, but there's probably not enough season left for them to bear fruit.

My mint did fine, but apparently that's a failure.  With a green thumb, it apparently could have choked out the Hostas and begun planning its assault on the neighbouring yards.

My basil was OK, I guess, in that I've eaten a few leaves from it.  It suffered in the shade of those tomatoes, which grew so thick and high that I had to cage them, then support the cage with sticks.  A fellow down the street grew basil in a green garbage barrel last summer, and at one point it (the basil plus the barrel) were about 7 feet tall, and I would guess that even after being removed from the stems, the leaves would have amounted to about 20 pounds worth or more.  Jealous!

My sage is also doing fine.  Time for some blue cheese and sage pasta soon.

And our morning glories.  I know they're not a vegetable, but our backyard is filled with them.  Filled.  They were a leftover from the previous owners, and we had quite a few of them last year.  This spring they self-seeded, and they found the raised bed.  They've completely covered over the grapefruits, like some slow-moving, green amoeba.  They're up the garage, they're all over my tomatoes, they're all over the fence, they're crawling along the hydro wire, they've enveloped my tiki-torches, and they recently entwined themselves around the garage door so that I couldn't open it.  At one point one of our tendrils was reaching out over the fence toward one of the neighbour's tendrils, like two lovers touching in excruciatingly slow motion (they're now together).  I would guess that on any given morning you can look out in our tiny (16 x 20) yard and see 100 or more flower heads, all purple-blue, unless it's raining, in which case they're purple-pink.

Next year I'm taking up some of the awful flagstones and I'm going to farm like it was my livelihood!  This neighbourhood is apparently more fertile than the Nile River Delta, and now that I know anything can grow, I intend to grow everything.  Richters catalog, here I come.

Oh, we also had ONE STRAWBERRY, ceremoniously sliced in two and eaten.  :)
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skdadl

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Harvesting
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 04:56:13 PM »
I will be a good gardener next year.

I gave up some time in June. It wasn't my year to be a happy gardener. By mid-June I had harvested a couple dozen strawberries, a legacy from the previous owner, and the raspberry canes were coming on. I hope that the birds had a feast, because I stopped harvesting about then.

Since then, the weeds have taken over, and I still have not given my broken, soon-to-die birch her last rites. I will clean her up now, but I won't think about replacements till next year.

I did figure out my upside-down-tomato-growing device, got it set up, and planted a few herbs up top, intending to get more and do more. I see how it could work well if tended properly. It was ok through June and July because we had so much rain, and I harvested a bit of green and purple basil. And then ...  Well, I haven't looked. I can see from the window that the herbs are all dried up now, so I mostly keep the shutters closed. I guess I have to go out soon and take the device apart for the season.

I will do better next year.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 05:06:56 PM »
I moved into my new place too late to make any changes to the garden that the previous owner started. However, the harvest of beets is astounding - but I don't care for beets much, unless they're pickled. The carrots aren't doing too badly, but some of them are small. The cabbages are huge. The onions are small. The turnips are the size of footballs - unbelievable. I'll have to get a very early start next year - do started plants in the basement of the house and transplant them no later than May, I guess. I was hoping to build a greenhouse over the garden, but my finances might not be sufficient. I'd love to grow tomatoes and cucumbers instead of beets and onions next year. And pumpkins, and lots of sunflowers.

brebis noire

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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 05:11:12 PM »
Tomatoes.  :shock: Every meal this year will be with a riff on tomato sauce.

Everything else was middling, except for carrots. Lotsa carrots. And green beans, but those are done for now.

Tomatoes will be ongoing till late October at this rate.

I planted green grapes a year ago, and I think we might eat some in late Sept.

skdadl

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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 05:32:10 PM »
Sunflowers: there are some spectacular sunflowers around here just now, huge tall things, and lots of them. I must think of them too in time next year.

Magoo's tribute to his morning glories reminded me of the other flower that will do that, in the right places, by this time of the year -- nasturtiums. They don't twine up so poetically as Magoo's morning glories have, but they will spread on to a lawn or a walk some distance, very prettily, nice woodland effect. And of course they are very tasty in salads, the flowers and the leaves both. The flowers are also nice on poached salmon.

vickyinottawa

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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 05:44:25 PM »
I keep meaning to plant some morning glories.... my gardening is so haphazard....

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2006, 06:57:25 PM »
Quote
I keep meaning to plant some morning glories


Better that you install a raccoon door in your attic.  :)

So my next door neighbour, Maria, is probably about 75 or 80, and she's lived (and presumably gardened) next door for 50 years.  Moments ago, as I was sauteeing some sausage and onion for an omelette and wondering what to put beside it (other than, of course, tomatoes), she banged her cane on the fence and asked us if we might like a few fresh garden cukes.  Thank you, Powers of Positive Thought!

Last year she gave us some cukes, and also some tomatoes (we had none of our own) and we ate them like they were truffles.

She's also got the most magnificent grape arbor.  She says they're old vines, and too sour or bitter to eat, but it's so neat to look at the "roof" over her backyard and see bunches and bunches of grapes hanging down.  Before I moved here I'd have thought that kind of thing was only in paintings.  She also does pretty good with zucchinis.  

Around here, being Little Italy/Little Portugal, it's all the same few things:  zucchinis, cucumbers and maybe some onions.  Then, if you're Italian, it's tomatoes; if it's red peppers, you're probably Portugese; a big old melon suggests you may be Asian.

Nobody seems to grow potatoes, or corn.  I see the odd trellis of beans.  And garlic, now and again.

When I was younger, my Dad's garden was like the produce aisle:  radishes, onions, carrots, dill and garlic early on.  Peppers, peas, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes and cukes later on.  And a sunflower for good measure (and the birds).
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Toedancer

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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2006, 07:10:10 PM »
I'm just sick to death of tomatoes. Have jarred most of them now. But lots more to ripen, and will jar. I made chile con carne with them with corn bread topping, it was soooo good.

Nasturtiums everywhere, love the orange, love the competitiveness. The white obedience looked wonderful with the white coneflowers. Herbs did well, but I bought dill for drying. I'm shocked at the price of pine nuts these days, but had to use the basil for my base of pesto. I freeze pesto in ice cube trays and then pop out and bag them for freezing, and then make a cheese sauce and mix for pasta during winter.

Everytime someone gives me a lily plant, any kind of lily plant I save them and plant in garden. Lilies galore and so beautiful. Right now I have pure white Easter liles in full bloom. Even my English neighbour is impressed. Lilies are kind of my pride here.

Cosmos everywhere and so much more. The river is still flowing in the correct direction, only what? 3 times did it appear to flow in the opposite direction. Last night the fish in the river were fairly dancing across the waters. The schools of small fry choose one to eat and chase it. It only needed music to accompany it. It was a visual feast. I will remember this summer as the summer of season normalcy for rain and sun and a great harvest for all.

 I'm leaving this place this fall or winter or spring. Not sure. This place has been an oasis during my fighting the good fight. But I miss the city and outskirts and I miss my old friends. It's time for me to build up my CPP again. The decision has been made, now I just have to find a way to work it. And I will. My SO supports this decision, but I know how much he will miss the few things he can do, like fishing. I pray to Goddess I am doing the right thing.
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Boom Boom

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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2006, 08:15:52 PM »
Quote from: Toedancer
I'm just sick to death of tomatoes.


You could always send them to me... hint, hint, hint. :wink:

Toedancer

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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2006, 08:35:13 PM »
I only jar BB, THINK of the postal costs??? Next year you will grow tomatoes. And btw, I did grow the wee variety, what are people calling them? Grape tomatoes or something. Anyway I split the wee buggers, sit them in PC's raspberry vinegarette?? and then later I place the leafy greens and mix.
Yum.
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skdadl

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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 06:15:32 AM »
Och, the cosmos. On the one hand, they are a genuinely lovely flower, and their ferns are so graceful. But around here, they self-seed like mad, and if you don't pull out all of the strays very early in the season, they suddenly get way too tall and tough just to pull. If they're growing out of a crack in your walk, you probably won't be able to dig, either.

So ... at the moment, my front walk is next to unusable. Everyone comes up my neighbour's walk.   :oops:

k'in

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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2006, 11:52:30 AM »
Magoo wrote:

Quote
So my next door neighbour, Maria, is probably about 75 or 80, and she's lived (and presumably gardened) next door for 50 years. Moments ago, as I was sauteeing some sausage and onion for an omelette and wondering what to put beside it (other than, of course, tomatoes), she banged her cane on the fence and asked us if we might like a few fresh garden cukes. Thank you, Powers of Positive Thought!


The Cucumber Zombies!  I have them banging on the door, leaning over the fence, and coming at me from all directions, arms outstretched chanting  "must take cucumber" when I venture out front.

What grew:  basil (lots), oregano, 2 kinds of plums (wish I knew how to get them before the squirrel but these trees are alas, not climable).  Peas in pod, a couple of peppers.  Tons of blackberries & raspberries.  Planted a mint & I seemed to get one of the non-expansionist plants too.  Tree lady next door planted a perennial hibiscus out front & it did well.  The rose of sharon that died over the winter regenerated from a piece of root and is flowering.  Roses did well.  

What didn't:  Thyme, usually easy to grow, went leggy & thin.  Didn't even attempt tomatoes after last year enduring the humiliation of "blossom end rot".  My neighbour earlier in the season gave me some lettuce (best lettuce ever).  Long story but I planted ruccola/arugula instead.

We had so much rain in July everything grew really tall.  Casa k'in, in terms of this year's landscaping resembles a mullet.  Presentable & manicured in the front but wild & freeform in the back...

Oh, & these things-thin leaved coneflowers.  A few seeds turned into a grove of yellow:


Boom Boom

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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2006, 12:13:18 PM »
I remember living in Ottawa, it wasn't safe to leave your car unlocked near the Byward Market in August - if you did, you'd come back and find it full of zuchinni.

lagatta

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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2006, 12:32:19 PM »
Alas there are a lot of "non-food" items at Byward now - fortunately, still some farmers.

Have any Ottawans been to Lansdowne market?
 http://www.spcottawa.on.ca/ofsc/en/buyl ... rmers.html

I think vicky lives closer to Parkdale market?
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